Thursday, December 19, 2013

The picture above is what I ate this morning and is a very typical bacon and eggs breakfast with no bread (aka “air toast”). 

Here are some notes:

I usually only have one or two small slices of bacon here in the States as it is extremely fatty here. The fattiness is not a problem, per se, but because I can’t guarantee the health of the pig here and the industrial farms probably feed them a horrendous diet I err on the side of caution to avoid some potential toxins in the fat. It is however delicious and the rendered fat is perfect to cook the eggs and lightly sauté the spinach in. If I can buy bacon of the highest quality from a local farm that pasture-raises their pigs then this is not a concern.

Where possible I only buy eggs sourced from a local farmer that lets his hens roam free and doesn't feed them grain, or even better, doesn't feed them at all - just lets them scratch around for bugs and worms. I am fortunate to have a great farmer’s market in Union Square where I can buy a dozen real farm eggs for $4. 

This is the ideal (unless of course you can have your own chickens!) but if you don’t have access to a farmer then your only other option is to buy the best quality free range eggs from the supermarket that you can afford. The 'organic' and 'free-range' labels unfortunately do not mean a whole lot in this country. Organic eggs are preferable than non-organic, however it still does not guarantee the quality of the egg or the health of the hen.

Oddly, It is possible to get barn eggs from hens that have more space and access to the outdoors than 'free range' eggs - as the definition and enforcement of the term is lax at best. The quality of eggs ranges from farm to farm and it is hard to tell the much about the hens just from the label. Price is generally a pretty good guide though. I avoid cage eggs. I don't want to eat the product of an ill, stressed out, jail-bird for both health and ethical reasons.

Today I scrambled the eggs but usually I would poach or lightly fry them. It is best to have the yolks as raw and whole as possible. When you scramble egg yolks or cook them at high temperature they can become oxidized which may affect the fatty acids and potentially make the cholesterol in eggs less beneficial. It is pretty clear these days from the research that the dietary cholesterol in eggs actually raises HDL ("good cholesterol") and lowers LDL "bad cholesterol", which renders the whole cholesterol concern over eating eggs unfounded.

Amazing source of monounsaturated fat, fibre and nutrients. Delicious, satiating and one of those foods that no one can deny is healthy. GOOD FAT IS GOOD! Eat fat to burn fat.

Salt 'n' tomatoes
Tomatoes work well for me. I love them... provided they have salt on them! Don't use table salt. Spend a little extra on some quality sea salt, Pink Himalayan salt or other mineral-rich fancy variety. It's worth it. As a nightshade, tomatoes can be an issue for a minority of people with auto-immune issue. If this is you consider trying an uber strict auto-immune Paleo protocol which limits all nightshades. Good luck!

It's good to get organic spinach if possible - same goes for other salad leaves, broccoli, berries, apples, and all fruits and veggies whose exterior we consume. Think of it this way, if you sprayed paint on it, could you eat it without eating the paint? i.e. Avocado, banana, coconut, nuts - YES. Strawberry, grapes, spinach - NO. If YES, it's probably not worth buying organic in most cases. If NO, buy organic if you can afford it.

A breakfast like the above would contain roughly 20-25grams of protein, 40-50 grams of fat and basically 0 carbs and around 600 calories. This is a very Paleo macro-nutrient breakdown and keeps me satisfied and with good energy levels for 4-6 hours. This meal will definitely not spike insulin in a metabolically healthy person.

I used to eat something like this every single day but these days I rarely eat breakfast, instead going for a Bulletproof Coffee. When I do have breakfast though, this is it, or on the rare occasion I’ll have a banana coconut pancake.

“Form a habit. Forge a lifestyle.” - The Paleo Model


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